If you are looking for that oversized lot, preferably with an ocean view, on which to build your custom dream home and you have $5-10 million burning a hole in your pocket, then you would not be alone if you gravitated to the Manhattan Beach Hill section, the land of large lots.
We recently noticed a slew of older homes (some quite large) on large Hill section lots being torn down to make way for what will undoubtedly be some spectacular new custom homes.
Some examples, with their 'Before' pictures -
1007 Pacific Avenue
This home has an interesting history. It was originally purchased for $620,000 back in 1986 as a 5-bedroom, 4-bath, 4200 sqft home in which to raise a family. The parking pad in the spacious backyard was repurposed as a half-court basketball court. Life was good.
But 28 years later, in 2014, it was time for the owners to move on, downsize and get close to the ocean. Fortunately for them, while the house itself (originally built in 1948) was beyond dated at that point, it occupied a highly desirable, oversized (9,379 sqft) corner lot on the northwest corner of Pacific and 10th and came with big ocean views.
And while the home was offered on and off-market for several years, the right buyer - the coach for the USC men's basketball team - eventually materialized this year. He paid $6.2 million and probably won't keep the basketball court. (For those of you keeping score at home, that sale price is a tenfold return on the seller's original investment).
We first wrote about this sale back in May shortly after the sale closed (see USC B'ball Coach Pays $6.2 Million For Hill Section Dirt). Now, it appears that a new home is in the works as the construction fence has gone up and the old home has gone down.
Across the street from 1007 Pacific is another teardown, a more modest home to be sure, that is also in the process of being torn down (FYI, the photo captures a shed in the mammoth backyard - the old house itself is behind the fence).
The real attraction here, as with 1007 Pacific, is the lot - in this case a 12,005 sqft lot (that's well over a quarter acre) with 75 feet of frontage on Pacific Avenue and both city and ocean view potential.
Still, given that the lot is situated on the east side of the street, the views will be much more limited than our nearby coach's corner lot on the west side of the street. This is probably the main reason that it took over 4 months and price cuts totaling almost $900,000 before the estate of the former owner of 1020 Pacific Avenue finally found a buyer in September of last year. Sale price - $4,725,000.
Down at the bottom of the hill close to Manhattan Beach's downtown is another large lot, this one just slightly under a quarter acre (10,221 sqft, to be exact) that was actually the subject of a bidding war when it debuted on the market in February, 2016 at $3,650,000. The sale closed in short order for $4,195,000.
Now, with the old house gone, make way for a stunning David Watson-designed home in the popular 'beach plantation' style (see architect's rendering below). The impressive curb appeal is made possible by a lot with 70 feet of street frontage, as opposed to the typical 40-50 feet.
499 John Street
Quick, guess which former all-star professional baseball player and his locally-grown model wife are building a mammoth retreat on one of the truly premier oversized (at 9,210 sqft) ocean-view corner lots in the Hill section at 499 John Street.
Well, we're not telling you but here's a hint - he played his entire career for the same team that attempted to recruit George Costanza away from the Yankees to be their scouting director on 'Seinfeld.'
The above is a photo of the 5-bedroom, 5192 sqft teardown that once occupied that lot on John Street. Yep, you read that correctly - the above home was the teardown that said ballplayer paid $7.5 million just to have cleared off the land.
Also removed was a number of tons of dirt as it appears the new home will have two floors below ground (we're wondering if he's opted for a sub-basement bowling alley like another nearby well-known professional athlete on the women's tennis circuit who built out an oversized ocean-view Hill section lot at 636 8th Street a few years back).
This is just some of the extensive construction activity currently underway on extra-large Hill section lots. Other examples include coming new homes at 628 11th Street (a 13,170 sqft lot) and (much closer to completion) a couple of large homes on matching adjacent 11,400 sqft lots at 500 Pacific and 512 Pacific. The latter two lots traded for $5.7 and $5.5 million respectively back in 2016, with 512 Pacific subsequently trading again in 2017, this time with plans included, for $6.1 million when the Skechers gazillionaire and owner decided against building himself and unloaded the lot and the plans for a $600,000 premium over his purchase price.
But while you don't have to be 'Skechers rich' to live in the Hill section, it doesn't hurt, particularly if your goal is to buy a big lot on which to build your future dream house.
Otherwise, you can always hope - or, if you have the bank account, convince - the owners to sell, much as the current owner of 853 3rd Street (pictured above) did back in 2011 when she persuaded the previous owners who had just completed their 6-bedroom, 7-bath, KAA-designed custom home on an 11,401 sqft lot to part with it for a cool $16 million (this was back when 8-figure sale prices were unheard of, even in the Hill section).
All it takes is money.